From Mars explorations to star counting to space parties, this month, youth can go to infinity and beyond with four stellar activities:
Mission to Mars
Youth can put their “space smarts” to work with CYFERnet’s own version of the Space Week Science Challenge (originally presented by the Iowa Space Grant Consortium). Read the Mission to Mars activity guide to get started!
Great Worldwide Star Count
Youth and adults are invited to count the stars in the evening sky for about two weeks each fall in October November and report their results online. The event, sponsored by Windows to the Universe, is designed to raise awareness about light pollution and encourage learning in astronomy. At the conclusion of the event, the submitted data will be analyzed and a map will be generated highlighting the results. Visit The Star Count website for details.
HiRISE Image Targeting Challenge
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera orbits Mars to help NASA search for signs of water on the Red Planet. Youth can suggest regions of Mars to image. The HiRISE team will pick several suggestions and image them in the coming months. Those checking the site will represent the first people on Earth to see the resulting images and have a chance to search for signs of water in the image. Visit http://quest.nasa.gov/challenges/hirise/ for registration and background info, teacher guides and student activity books.
Space Party 1-2-3, Revisited
To round out this month’s aerospace theme, consider returning to the Space Party! Mission of the Month. There, you’ll find guidelines for three unique star parties that utilize the free Stellarium and Celestia software, as well as the Heaven’s-Above Web site.